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This section covers the northwestern portion of Afghanistan. The Northern Alliance held out here when Taliban controlled the rest of Afghanistan. The main ethnic groups are Uzbek and Tajik.

The historic region of Bactria spanned territory that included parts of northern Afghanistan — Balkh was it capital — plus areas that are now in Uzbekistan or Tajikistan.


Map of Northwest Afghanistan
Afghan sport of buzkashi, Balkh province

Official Provinces[edit]

  • Balkh Province
  • Jowzjan Province
  • Samangan Province
  • Sar-e Pol Province


  • 1 Mazar-e Sharif — third-largest city of Afghanistan, home to the Shrine of Hazrat Ali also known as Blue Mosque
  • 2 Balkh — today a small town, Balkh was once a powerful city known to the Ancient Greeks as Bactra.
  • 3 Sheberghan — over 20,000 pieces of ancient gold jewelry and artifacts were discovered in 1979 in the village of Tillia Tepe, just outside Sheberghan.
  • 4 Samangan — an ancient city founded by Eucratides I, king of Bactria, developed into a major Buddhist center during the Kushan Dynasty.

Other destinations[edit]


Get in[edit]

1 Mazar-e Sharif International Airport (MZR IATA) - direct air connections to Kabul, Moscow, Mashad, Dubai and Istanbul. Airlines : Afghan Jet International, Ariana Afghan Airlines, Iran Aseman Airlines, Kam Air, Safi Airways, Turkish Airlines

Get around[edit]





Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Northwest Afghanistan is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!